Red Sox reliever Kyle Martin has a ball in big league debut

Dan Shulman
July 20, 2017 - 6:17 pm

Kyle Martin came up with the perfect last-minute birthday present for his dad: the ball from his first big league strikeout.

Summoned earlier in the week to reinforce a battered bullpen, Martin made his debut on Thursday, tossing a scoreless inning in an 8-6 loss to the Blue Jays. He struck out the first batter he faced and then gave the ball to his dad, who was celebrating his birthday.

"I let him take it for now and I'll get it back later," Martin said.


Martin got the call in the seventh with Steve Pearce leading off.

"Walking to the mound, absolutely surreal," Martin said. "Probably the most juice I've had going into a game. A lot of adrenaline and a lot of excitement."

The 2013 ninth-round pick out of Texas A&M struck out Pearce on three pitches.

"It was really cool," Martin said. "I was nervous about that first pitch. Once I got that first pitch, I calmed down a little bit and was lucky enough that he swung."

After Ezequiel Carrera grounded out, Martin walked Ryan Goins.

"I had to take a lot deeper breaths than I usually have to take," said Martin. "Try and lock back in."

Martin retired Darwin Barney on a fly ball to center to end the frame. In the dugout, he was met with congratulations and the ball from his first career strikeout. And Martin knew exactly what to do with it.